The Quality and Accuracy of Online Resources for Total and Reverse Shoulder Replacement


Recent literature suggests that many online patient resources are poor in quality and lack important clinical information. The purpose of this study was to investigate the value of online resources available to patients considering shoulder arthroplasty. A total of 84 websites were discovered with the terms ‘‘total shoulder replacement’’ (TSR) and ‘‘reverse shoulder replacement’’ (RSR), they were reviewed and graded for quality and accuracy. Overall quality scores were low for TSR and RSR websites, 22.8/45 (95% confidence interval (CI): 19.9–25.6) and 24.2/45 (95% CI: 21.6–26.9), respectively. The authorship of a website significantly influenced the quality for both TSR (p = 0.013) and RSR (p = 0.048). When comparing search rank to quality scores, websites that appeared earlier demonstrated significantly higher quality scores, TSR (p = 0.017) and RSR (p = 0.018). Overall, most websites were accurate but provided incomplete information. Websites authored by professional societies have higher quality scores than websites authored by medical providers or commercial entities. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 28(4):290-294, 2019) Key words: total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA), online resources, quality, accuracy, patient information

Emily J. Monroe, MD; Ryan S. Selley, MD; Mufaddal M. Gombera, MD; Rueben Nair, MD; Alexander Martusiewicz, MD; Robert A. Christian, MD; Guido Marra, MD; and Matthew D. Saltzman, MD